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Kelly/Stricker Shoot Scramble-Format 56 For Lead

NAPLES, Fla. -- Steve Stricker returned from a long layoff to team with Jerry Kelly to take the first-round lead in the Franklin Templeton Shootout.

The Madison, Wisconsin, duo shot a 16-under 56 on Thursday in the scramble format for a one-stroke lead over Harris English and Matt Kuchar at Tiburón Golf Club.

Stricker is teaming with the Kelly for a record eighth time. They won in 2009, and Kelly also won with Rod Pampling in 2006.

"It was just a great team effort today," Stricker said. "We both played well. We both kept the pedal down all the way around, we never let up. We made a lot of good birdies, threw in an improbable eagle at the sixth hole, but other than that, it was just good, solid golf all the way around, all the way to the end. Usually we have little hiccups here and there or a little lull period, and today that never happened. We just continued that good play every hole really."

On the eagle, Stricker holed a breaking 60-footer on the par-5 sixth.

"The pin was in a very difficult position kind of on the left side of the green," Stricker said. "It was kind of up and over, and speed was tricky. He put a good putt on it, on the first one. It was difficult, it had a lot of break. But speed was the issue, and he gave me great speed and the line because I ended up giving it a little bit more."

The 49-year-old Stricker had not played since the Deutsche Bank Championship on Labor Day. He's teaming with the 50-year-old Kelly for the record eighth time. They won in 2009, and Kelly also won with Rod Pampling in 2006.

"We know everybody's going to get in the fairway and get on the green in this format, so it's really rolling in the putts," Kelly said. "I just need to do my job and hit solid putts, so he can see where the line is and make it like he does."

Harris and Kuchar won in 2013 in their first start together and finished second the past two years.

Charles Howell III and Rory Sabbatini were third at 59, and defending champions Jason Dufner and Brandt Snedeker were at 60 with Kevin Chappell-Kevin Kisner and Luke Donald-Russell Knox.

Lexi Thompson and Bryson DeChambeau were eighth after a 62. Thompson is the second woman to compete in the event, following Annika Sorenstam with Fred Couples in 2006.

The teams will play modified alternate shot Friday and close with better ball Saturday.

 

About Franklin Templeton Investments
Franklin Resources, Inc. [NYSE:BEN] is a global investment management organization operating as Franklin Templeton Investments. Franklin Templeton Investments provides global and domestic investment management to retail, institutional and sovereign wealth clients in over 180 countries. Through specialized teams, the company has expertise across all asset classes—including equity, fixed income, alternative and custom solutions. The company’s more than 600 investment professionals are supported by its integrated, worldwide team of risk management professionals and global trading desk network. With offices in 35 countries, the California–based company has more than 65 years of investment experience and over $733 billion in assets under management as of September 30, 2016.
About The Ritz-Carlton Golf Resort, Naples
The Forbes Four Star, AAA Four Diamond Ritz-Carlton Golf Resort, Naples is renowned for its exceptional personalized service, inventive cuisine and luxurious accommodations, with panoramic views of the adjacent Greg Norman-designed Tiburón Golf Club. The 295-room Mediterranean-style resort, ranked as one of the top hotels in the U.S. by U.S. New & World Report is home to a pair of 18-hole signature Greg Norman golf courses at Tiburón. The course is the host location for both the annual PGA TOUR Franklin Templeton Shootout, held in December and the LPGA’s CME Group Tour Championship, held in November.  

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